Nutritional Needs - Your Dog

Choosing the right food for your dog can be daunting. There is such a huge variety available today, often backed by clever marketing.  Here we provide some information which you may find helpful. If you need to know more or if you'd like to speak to us in person, we'd love to hear from you - Click Here to go to the Contact Us Page

Just click a question below to be taken to the area on the page where the answer resides.

What does the analysis mean on pet food labelling?

The brand I feed has the same analysis, but is half the price. Why is that?

What exactly are the ingredients?

What is digestibility?

Why are some ingredients added?

What is the difference between a premium food and all the others?

How do I choose the right diet for my pet?

Advice about your pets.

How do I look after a pregnant bitch?

Could you tell me about weaning puppies?


What does the analysis mean on pet food labelling?

The Guaranteed Analysis or Nutrition Statement lists the quantity of nutrients in the food that will be present until the ‘Best By’ date on the packaging. They are pretty much the same types for all pet foods but their levels can differ widely depending upon the life-stage diet you choose and whether you choose a dry or wet food.

Protein percentage. Proteins are the primary component of many body tissues and the main component of muscle tissue. Protein helps muscle development, increases strength, and improves athletic performance. Proteins also make up the outer layers of hair, nails and skin. Depending on  your dog’s exercise level and energy demands you may need a food with higher levels of protein. Hard working dogs, puppies and bitches in whelp will need a higher level of protein to maintain or promote a healthy body mass. Frank's Pro Gold has a veterinarian-formulated diet which takes into consideration differing levels of work and protein requirement. Use our Chooser to help select the diet with the right level of protein for your dog. 

Fat percentage. Fats, also called lipids, are almost pure energy. Fat also protects organs, plays an insulation role to keep your pet warm and transports fat-soluble vitamins (like A, D, E, K). Again, dogs who are working hard and who need instant energy reserves, young puppies and bitches late in whelp or with a litter need higher dietary fat levels.

Fibre percentage. Fibre is the name given to a number of substances found in the cell walls of plants. They give plants their shape and structure. The fibre in pet food comes from food like cereals and vegetables. Fibre acts like a sponge, soaking up and holding onto water in the bowel, promoting the smooth passage of waste through the body. While dogs and cats are mainly carnivorous they still need fibre to keep the digestive tract mobile.

Ash percentage. Ash is the proportion of the food that is not destroyed by heat. All other food ingredients are either carbon or moisture in different forms. The remaining ash percentage comprises the vitamins and minerals that are essential to maintaining life.

Moisture percentage. In other words - water.

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The brand I feed has the same analysis, but is half the price. Why is that?

The analysis is not a guarantee of quality food. You may see adequate or impressive levels of protein and fat listed in a cheaper food but your pet may still lack energy and have a dull coat. The reason lies with the quality of ingredients and how easily your pet’s digestive system can access and use the nutrients in the food.
Soya meal, a cheap vegetable protein substitute, can produce a high protein level. However, as dogs and cats are designed to eat meat, through millions of years of evolution, vegetable proteins are quite difficult for their metabolism to break down and make use of its component parts. This means your pet really isn't receiving the protein levels he needs. Vegetable fats do provide an instant energy kick and allow fat soluble vitamins to be digested. But dogs and cats utilise animal products far more efficiently. Therefore animal fats are the most easily digested, economically-used substances for your pet’s digestive system. Chicken fat has the highest digestibility.
Chaeper food may look good on the label but if the ingredients are poor quality or a substitute for good meat then much of what goes in the front end cannot be used by the body - and comes out the back as waste!

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What exactly are the ingredients?

The ingredients vary slightly depending upon the life-stage diet, but all will contain some of the following:
Chicken Meal, Lamb Meal or Fish Meal - chicken, lamb or fish meat and some bone-dried to remove the moisture and ground to a powder. You won’t find feet, beak, feathers or 'derivatives' (often seen on cheaper foods and are the waste parts that don't find their way into diets for humans) in Frank's Pro Gold.
Ground Corn - when properly processed is highly digestible and provides high-quality carbohydrates for essential energy. Frank's Pro Gold’s factory uses corn products that are GMO free.
Ground Rice - a highly digestible form of carbohydrate that provides a slow burn form of energy.
Chicken Fat - provides fat to allow absorption of fat soluble vitamins and a freely usable source of instant energy. Highly digestible and economically used by the body.
Dried Beet Pulp - a premium quality non-irritant fibre source that helps move food through the digestive system. Fibre promotes bowel health and helps nutrients to be absorbed efficiently.
Brewer's Yeast - a natural form of vitamins and minerals, including B12, calcium, phosphorous, potassium, manganese, copper, iron, zinc, magnesium and chromium.
Egg - very high in natural protein and is a good source of iron and vitamins B12, A and D.
Ground Barley - a high quality carbohydrate and protein source.
Flaxseed, linseed and fish oils - can be converted by the body into the essential fatty acid Omega 3 which promotes a healthy heart and arteries, supports a healthy immune system, helps maintain supple and flexible joints, helps support brain function and promotes positive levels of polyunsaturated fats. Omega 3 also supports the production of a distinct group of hormones known as eicosanoids. 
Lecithin - is a lipid (fat) that is required by every single cell in the body. The body’s cell membranes comprise mostly lecithin. Lecithin also aids the absorption of fat soluble vitamins. The protective sheaths around the brain are also made of lecithin.
Inulin - is a type of FOS (fructo-oligosaccharide - a sugar) derived from chicory. It is a prebiotic meaning that, unlike other sugars, it is not broken down by the digestive juices in the intestinal tract but passes on to the gut where it acts as a fast food for helpful bacteria, levels of which decline with age. It encourages the growth of the beneficial bacteria bifidobacteria and lactobacilli in the gut, which promote nutrient absorption, Vitamin B manufacture, as well as supporting immune function and optimising digestion.

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What is digestibility?

Digestibility is a key consideration when choosing a food.
Digestibility refers to the level of a food’s ingredients that can be used by the body. In simple terms, if you put £1.00 worth of food into your pet - how much comes out at the other end? A cheaper brand food with 55% digestibility may mean that 55p worth goes towards the nutritional demands of your pet whilst 45p goes into the bin via the poop scoop! A higher quality food, such as Frank's Pro Gold, which has a digestibility of up to 92% means that 92p of your money actually feeds your pet while only 8p ends up on your garden lawn!
The advantages of a premium food means less waste, less to clean up and less cost.
With a high quality food like Frank’s Pro Gold you find that you can feed your pet smaller quantities than you would with a cheaper, cereal-based food. This means it costs less per day to provide your pet with the nutrition he needs. Higher quality ingredients that are easily digested are also kinder to the body and far less likely to produce many of the food intolerances can be seen today in our pets, such as dry coats, flaky, itchy skin, cracked, sore pads, loose motions and other allergies or food intolerances.
Unfortunately, digestibility is not one of the criteria that manufacturers are required to list on their packaging. Frank's Pro Gold products boast a digestibility of 75%+ minimum with most products in the early 80%+ range up to 92%.

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Why are some ingredients added?

High quality foods need few additions. The additives in many cheaper foods are there because a lot of the natural benefits and nutrition of the ingredients have been lost during manufacture or because the ingredients are of poor quality in the first place. 

However, some delicate vitamins that are easily damaged by the pre-cooking of food during its manufacture may genuinely need to be added. In cat  food, taurine - an essential amino acid - is often added even to premium foods. However, it is the amount which is added that is important. 

Fewer additives mean that the ingredients are of a better quality and that few of the food’s original nutrients have been destroyed during the manufacturing process.

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What is the difference between a premium food and all the others?

Quite simply, quality. Premium foods have better quality ingredients, meat not meat derivatives, rice or corn rather than soya and animal fats over vegetable fats. 

Ingredients are predominantly animal in origin and meat cost more than vegetables or cereals.  A cheaper food’s first ingredient is usually some kind of cereal while 'meat and animal derivatives' may feature well down the list of ingredients. By law, the ordering of ingredients on any packaging must list the highest percentage ingredient first. If you see meat and animal derivatives third or fourth on the list the food contains poor quality meat and not a lot of it!

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How do I choose the right diet for my pet?

To help you choose the right diet for your pet, we have developed a feeding table. Please click here to access it.

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How do i look after a pregnant bitch?

Frank's Pro Gold Performance is an ideal pre-natal diet as it provides the higher levels of nutrition needed to support the demands placed on the bitch’s body by pregnancy and lactation. Veterinary formulated Frank's Pro Gold Performance comprises highly digestible ingredients, including chicken meal, rice, eggs and chicken fat. Frank's Pro Gold Performance also includes fish, which contains Omega 3 fatty acids, necessary for the health of your dog's skin and coat. Frank's Pro Gold Performance does not contain any of the most common ingredients to cause allergies or over-sensitive reactions such as wheat, beef, pork, soy, corn or ethoxyquin. Additional vitamins - vitamin C included - and minerals provide nutritionally balanced food for your bitch. This is a very easily digestible premium food.

Because there is very little foetal growth in the first four to five weeks you don’t need to increase the quantity fed until the bitch enters the seventh week of pregnancy. The puppies develop rapidly then and the bitch will begin to "show" and a higher level of nutrition is required. The quantities to increase vary depending on the breed and size of dog. Here is a general guide:

Normal Diet
7wks Pregnancy
After Whelping
Increase by 50%
Increase by 100%
12oz
16oz
24oz

 

Again, smaller, frequent feeds are easier to manage, especially towards the end of her pregnancy when the puppies are taking up a lot of room! After whelping the demands on the bitch’s body remain high. Frank's Pro Gold Active provides the highest level of nutrition in a concentrated easily digestible form. This food will allow the bitch can produce the best quality milk. After the puppies’ first week of weaning you can slowly reduce the amount you feed the mother which will prevent weight gain. Demands on her nutrient levels decrease now and the puppies take more nutrients from solid food.
Fresh water should be available at all times.


Could you tell me about weaning puppies?

Frank's Pro Gold Puppy Feeding Programme has been developed for growing dogs of different ages and sizes. Formulated by veterinarians Frank's Pro Gold Puppy and Frank's Pro Gold Large Breed Puppy make it easy to choose exactly the right nutrition for your puppy during the most important period of his development and growth. Frank's Pro Gold Puppy Feeding Programmes are balanced, complete foods containing top quality proteins essential for good muscle development and optimal levels of calcium and phosphorous for healthy bones and teeth. Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids promote a healthy skin and coat.
‘Weaning’ means the introduction of solid foods into the puppies’ diet. The time chosen to begin weaning can vary due to several factors.
Three weeks of age is the norm, however, if a new mother has a large litter weaning can begin at 10 days. Depending on the breed most mothers will cope with six or seven puppies. Beyond this number, even a bitch in excellent condition can only produce a certain amount of milk and she has a limited number of teats. Greedier puppies will get the majority of the milk and within a matter of days you will notice a difference in size. Contrary to popular belief "runts" are not small by design but are the puppies who have been the last in line at the "milk bar". Providing all puppies in a large litter were similar birth weights, and are allowed sufficient nutrition they will all remain pretty much even in size, weight and condition.
Correct diet and a plentiful intake of fluids are essential for a lactating bitch to help her produce a highly nutritious milk which in turn provides her growing puppies with all the energy, protein, vitamins and carbohydrates they require. Some mothers, though, can have a poor milk supply - either lacking in quality and/or quantity. As the puppies grow she may be unable to provide enough milk to sustain their optimal growth up to the three week stage.
All puppies, irrespective of breed, should be weaned using Frank's Pro Gold Puppy. Soak the food in hot water, mash it into a porridge and allow the food to cool down a little. Puppies at the normal weaning age of three weeks will already have some teeth; a normal porridge consistency will be easy for them to manage. Younger puppies may prefer a more liquid porridge. Spread the porridge around the edges of a large flat bowl - small legs find it difficult to stand for more than five or ten minutes without tiring. A shallow bowl allows them to sit while eating. For the first few feeds separate the mother from the puppies for an hour to ensure they have not fed from her and filled themselves with milk. Make sure all the puppies have access to the food. You may want to place a small amount of food on your finger in front of the puppy's mouth. For reluctant puppies smear a little food around their mouths to encourage them to lick it off and sample the food. Sometimes a new smell is not enough, but the taste soon makes them realise the food is edible!

The quantity fed will depend upon the breed. Until the puppies are about three weeks old small regular feeds are easier for small stomachs to cope with and produce the best growth.
A good rule of thumb is to prepare enough food for the puppies to eat in a ten minute period with a small amount left over. This means you know that each puppy has had his fill. Feed the remainder to the mother then let her back in with her puppies after they have fed as they will need a drink from her. They usually toilet shortly after a meal and she can clean up after them.

Once the puppies are eating readily and their teeth are coming through the food can gradually be dried off until it is fed with a little water only. This ensures that they have sufficient water intake and prevents the food from being scattered around the kennel during feed time. As the puppies grow and their appetites grow you should increase the amount of food, still sticking to the ten minute guideline. When the puppies are around five weeks old begin to measure quantities, especially with the larger breeds, to prevent overgrowth. Fast growth can strain young joints which may bring about serious ailments such as hip dysplasia and other joint problems in later life due to excessive weight bearing on the soft cartilage in the joints. Below is an approximate guide to quantities. Please bear in mind it is a guide only and that certain breeds may require more or less.
For all puppies up to 8 weeks of age:

Frank's Pro Gold Puppy

 
Small Breeds - (1-10kg)
Age (Weeks)
 
Medium Breeds - (11-25kg)
Age (Weeks)
 
Large Breeds (25kg+)
Age (Weeks)
Weight
3-12
12-24
24-40
Weight
3-12
12-24
24-40
Weight
3-6
1-2kg
75-120
40-55
45-70

3-4kg

100-180
   
3-4kg
100-180
3-4kg
100-190
85-150
90-110
5-6kg
150-250
120-200
 
5-6kg
150-250
5-6kg
 
120-200
90-140
6-10kg
225-350
150-290
135-225
6-10kg
225-350
7-8kg
 
25-285
160-190
10-15kg
 
250-400
200-300
10-15kg
300-500
8-10kg
   
200-240
15-20kg
 
350-490
250-380
15-20kg
450-600
       
20-25kg
   
350-450
20-25kg
 
 
g/day
   
25-30kg
 
g/day
400-510
25-30kg
g/day

All large breed puppies from eight weeks of age should be put onto Frank's Pro Gold Large Breed Puppy. The food should be mixed half and half for a couple of days. Large Breed Puppy is specifically formulated to ensure larger breeds do not overgrow and it has the optimum levels of calcium and phosphorous to promote healthy skeletal development.

Frank's Pro Gold Large Breed Puppy

8wks-7months Age
7-12 months Age
7-12 months Age
Weight
150-290
6-10kg
250-450
10-15kg
400-520
185-250
15-20kg
500-610
225-285
200-265
20-25kg
550-700
250-325
225-300
25-30kg
650-850
300-375
265-335
30-40kg
350-450
300-400
40-50kg
400-525
350-475
50-65kg
500-625
450-575
65kg+
g/day
600-725
550-650

You may well find that greedier puppies remain dominant at the food bowl and you may need to split the litter at feeding times into two groups: fast and slow feeders.
Puppies should have access to fresh water at all times.

When your puppies are ready to go to their new homes it is strongly advised that the new owners keep their puppy on the same diet. The excitement and change of environment, being separated from mum and litter mates, can create stress in young systems which can affect digestion. A change of diet at this time can give rise to upset stomachs and diarrhoea.
For information on selling Frank's Gold Puppy with your litters please Contact Us